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North Suncoast: Sunday morning quarterback

In hot pursuit Weeki Wachee’s Jonathan King, right, looks for running room on the outside as Springstead’s Julian Escoda gives chase on another rainy Friday night. Springstead won 14-0 for new coach Mike Garofano’s first victory.

CHRIS PRICE | Special to the Times

In hot pursuit Weeki Wachee’s Jonathan King, right, looks for running room on the outside as Springstead’s Julian Escoda gives chase on another rainy Friday night. Springstead won 14-0 for new coach Mike Garofano’s first victory.

North Suncoast Super 7

1. Sunlake (2-0): The Seahawks still haven't allowed an offensive touchdown this season after shutting out River Ridge 25-0. Nathan Johnson could be Pasco County's breakout back.

2. Pasco (1-1): Any questions about the Pirates' potential after they dismantled Fivay 50-7?

Zephyrhills (2-0): Goodness, the Bulldogs can strike quickly. Jordan Roberts and Jaylen Pickett both returned kickoffs for TDs in a 51-20 win over Gulf.

4. Springstead (1-1): QB Tyler Mahla's two TDs helped his rookie coach, Mike Garofano, get the first win of his career, 14-0 over Weeki Wachee.

5. Hernando (0-1): The Leopards have played one game and had two rained out: a preseason game against River Ridge and Friday against Jacksonville Bishop Kenny. Mother Nature is undefeated.

6. Nature Coast (0-1): The Sharks were off in Week 2, giving them more time to prepare for a showdown against Springstead.

7. Land O'Lakes (2-0): Class 6A, District 6 remains unpredictable, but James Pensyl and the Gators look as if they'll be playoff contenders.

In the conversation: Mitchell (2-0), Wiregrass Ranch (2-0)

Getting defensive

Rainy weather and slippery fields helped pile up turnovers Friday, and defenses capitalized with several touchdowns.

Land O'Lakes: Senior LB/DE Darius Wells pounced on a fumble in the end zone to score his second TD in the past three games.

Pasco: Junior LB Bowman Archibald returned an interception 7 yards for the first TD of his varsity career. He added 1 1/2 sacks.

Wesley Chapel: Senior DE Eric Bennett recorded an interception return for a score in a 10-6 loss at Lecanto.

Wiregrass Ranch: Junior LB/DB Jaye Miner returned a fumble 3 yards as part of his 17-tackle, 1½-sack night in a 25-7 win over Hudson.


"We felt like we let the coaches down, let the community down. We took that anger we had into practice." — Pasco ATH Malik Johns, on responding to a Week 1 loss to Sunlake with a rout of Fivay


Five players whose performances deserve another mention:

Nate Boler, RB, Mitchell: The senior showed that Christian Trinidad isn't the only horse in the Mustangs' stable. He rushed for almost 100 yards and scored a TD against Ridgewood.

Trent Crawford, RB, Anclote: He rushed for 105 yards and the Sharks' only score while adding two excellent kickoff returns in a loss to Land O'Lakes.

Malik Johns, ATH, Pasco: He helped his Pirates rebound from a loss to Sunlake with one TD catch, one TD rush, a pair of two-point conversion runs and a two-point conversion pass.

Nathan Johnson, RB, Sunlake: The Division I prospect followed a strong showing against Pasco with 137 yards and a TD against River Ridge.

Glass Wilson, RB, Ridgewood: His 100-yard night included three touchdown runs in a 41-30 loss to Mitchell.

Looking ahead to Week 3

Springstead at Nature Coast: Even without DE Rohan Blackwood, the Sharks defense will be a tough test for Tyler Mahla and the Eagles. Nature Coast gave Springstead fits last season in beating the Eagles 14-7. Springstead's offensive attack will have to improve after scoring only 28 points in two games.

Mitchell at Zephyrhills: Expect lots of rushes and lots of points. Mitchell has been impressive but hasn't faced a team as athletic and fast as Zephyrhills. Can the Mustangs slow Jordan Roberts, Jaylen Pickett and Devin Brockington?

River Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls still feel as if they have more to prove. A win over a struggling Royal Knights team would move Wiregrass to 3-0, its best start in program history.

Injury update

Anclote ATH Shy Carter separated his shoulder during the first drive against Land O'Lakes. Sharks coach Matt Wicks said his two-way standout and Division-I prospect is expected to be fine but will probably miss Friday's game against Sunlake.

North Suncoast: Sunday morning quarterback 09/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 10:47pm]
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